Sunday, October 13, 2013

LaSalle Lake Closing Day Catfishing

Chunsum, Dan(Pondboy's Angling Adventures), and I met up for the final day of fishing at LaSalle Lake this year: Sunday, October 13th.  Dan had caught a couple of shad the night before at his neighborhood ponds(and by a couple I mean literally two) so I was hopeful we could net some more at LaSalle before we started fishing.  We threw our cast nets at the launch cove for a bit when we first arrived but only managed a handful more in about 15 minutes of throwing. We wanted to get fishing so we headed out down to marker 45 and set up our rods.  Things started out slow, Dan was catching a few small channel cats but that was about it for the first hour.  I reeled in to check my shad head, it was still there, and I cast back out.  As I reeled in the slack and got set to put my rod back in the holder I felt a strong hit.  After a short fight Dan netted the first blue of the morning, which would also end up being the biggest of the day.
4-5lb blue catfish at LaSalle Lake.
Over the next few hours I landed several more smaller blue cats while missing a couple bites as well.


Chunsum also got in on the act with a blue catfish.

Not sure if Jimmy Houston would even try this!
By late morning we were running low on shad and had been relegated to using shad tails and a cut up green sunfish Chunsum had caught when we noticed some schools of small shad close to shore.  In a couple throws I netted about a dozen of these guys.

Fish candy: The threadfin shad.

Unfortunately by the time I netted these shad the bite had pretty much died and after a few more hours with nothing much to show on our fresh shad baits we decided to call it a day.

The key for catching the blue catfish for me today was long casts.  I only caught one blue catfish on my baitcaster setup even though I had the same bottom rig as my spinning rod.  The only difference was that I could cast my spinning rod about 30ft further out than my baitcasting rod.  I'm not sure if there was a big depth change between the two distances that made a difference for where the blue catfish were holding but my spinning rod was certainly getting a lot more action than my baitcaster rod on this day.  The catfishing rig I used today was a bottom float rig commonly called the Santee Rig.  A great explanation of this rig and why it is so effective on blue catfish can be found on the learntocatchcatfish website.  For my setup today I used a 1oz disc sinker, 2" slip float, and 3/0 team catfish double action circle hook.

LaSalle Lake will get a break from fishermen for the next 5 months but you can bet I'll be back in March for Hybrid and Blue Cat action!

Fish Caught:   Blue catfish - 6           
                      Drum - 1
Successful Baits: Cut shad and cut green sunfish(Santee Rig).
Weather: Sunny, NW winds 10mph, low 40's warming to low 60's.
Water Temp: 78.5

1 comment:

  1. Great blog entry Ted! Sounds like you guys had a great time.